Safety Dennis Smith picked up a fumble by Mosi Tatupu and ran 64 yards for a touchdown with 1:45 remaining, giving the Denver Broncos a 26-19 victory over the New England Patriots today.
The Patriots (6-4), who had led the entire game until John Elway's five-yard touchdown pass to Butch Johnson with 4:03 to play, looked to be en route to an upset victory when linebacker Steve Busick stripped the ball from Tatupu.
Smith scooped it up on the run and went untouched down the right sideline.
It was the seventh touchdown scored by Denver's defense this season and increased the Broncos' winning streak to eight games, making the team 9-1.
With 25 seconds remaining, Broncos' safety Steve Foley intercepted a pass at his 10-yard line to ensure victory.
Denver quarterback John Elway passed for 315 yards, throwing two touchdown passes to Johnson and one to Steve Watson.
Tony Franklin's third and fourth field goals of the game, early in the fourth quarter, gave the Patriots a 19-12 lead.
Franklin set a club record with his second field goal, giving him eight consecutive successes. He missed his next try, but finished the game with kicks of 30, 40, 47 and 19 yards.
Elway, who had trouble with a bruised shoulder and missed the Broncos' last game, was rusty early, but threw well in the second half. For the game, he completed nine passes to Johnson for 156 yards and eight passes to Watson for 134 yards.
Patriots running back Craig James, making his first NFL start, ran for 120 yards on 20 carries.